By: Mut Asheru
Unity is a beautiful thing especially when it involves music. Take the fusion of hip-hop with Bollywood beats for example. When I first heard the DJ Quik produced “So Addictive” my mouth fell open. I was in radio at the time and had to play the same music every other hour or so and it got boring. But that track was one (is one) that I never got tired of.
In 2003, Jay-Z’s “Beware of the Boys” became a hit after Hova became enamored with the Bhangra sound utilized by Panjabi MC on his desi rap song “Mundian To Bach Ke.” A year before that DJ Quick used a Hindi sample on Truth Hurts’ “Addictive” featuring Rakim, making the song an instant top 10 hit. And most recently, T.I. utilized M.I.A.’s tamil roots in sampling her “Paper Planes” on his “Swagger Like Us” featuring Hov, Lil’ Wayne and Kanye West.
At the heart of this explosive East-West music and lifestyle fusion is the multimedia website DesiHits.com, which is the number one hub for this east-west fusion on the Internet. The website’s Chief Executive Officer Anjula Bath has merged a deal with Warner Music Group’s Atlantic Records to produce video programs, or webisodes, featuring top artists like Cassie, Danity Kane, Sean Kingston, Estelle, Flo Rida, Gym Class Heroes, Bayje, Lupe Fiasco, Musiq Soulchild, Paolo Nutini, Sean Paul, TI, and Yung Joc on Desi Hits. These video shows will showcase each artist embracing Desi culture in their own unique and entertaining way embracing all aspects of the culture including cuisine, fashion, Bollywood and more.
Born in the UK, Anjula Bath, whose husband used to be a DJ had long been exposed to the South Asian musical culture as the result of of a more unified mixture of cultures in the UK. But when she moved to America she was shocked to discover how segmented everything and everyone was.
“It’s very different from London,” she says. “When we moved here we met a bunch of Indian kids who were all into hip-hop but were unfamiliar with desi-beats. So we started a blog that focused on the music. It incorporated podcasts and mixes that we sent out to the kids. They loved it and sent it to their friends. It grew from there. Something that was started for kids turned into something to represent the fusion culture,” Bath explains.
DesiHits.Com is a mash up of everything Bollywood, including film and fashion. There’s a lot of content on there which Bath admits is kind of hard to navigate to. They are currently in the planning stages of updating the site to make everything easier to find.
But there’s no doubt about it. Bollywood-West fused music is exciting as Americans have had a long running fascination with Indian culture. Bath aims to make DesiHits.Com the go-to site for this phenomenon.
Because of their powerhouse connections, multimedia platform DesiHits.Com has become instrumental in pairing up indie talent with more established artists making it a win-win situation. And with plans on expanding their delivery platforms into the television, mobile and various other media markets this place that was originally started to expand the music repetoire of kids has set itself up to become a giant in the fusion world.